8th ANIE International conference Rwanda

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October saw the advent of the 8th African Network for the Internationalization of Education’s international conference in Kigali Rwanda. The IDEAS team took this opportunity to present some of the ongoing work at the conference.  The conference began on the 4th of October with cocktails in the evening, a great opportunity to network with many African scholars from various institutions and countries across the continent. As a South African academic in higher education it was fascinating to attend a conference where many African scholars presented work from their various institutions and countries focusing on initiatives and barriers to the internationalisation of higher education.

The focus of the conference not only saw African participants getting involved, but also drew academics from across the globe coming to contribute to the discussion on ‘Higher education in Africa: New Regional and Global Dynamics’. Many presentations evoked strong opinions and wonderful conversations ensued. Overall, the participation was wonderfully encouraging and thought provoking around issues of higher education in Africa.

The IDEAS team put together two presentations to contribute to the conference. The first presentation was titled ‘Learning trajectories of international students in South Africa: Case study from the University of South Africa’. The presentation focused on looking at student trajectories and what factors affect student academic performance over time. The second presentation was titled ‘Understanding international distance student transition experiences: evidence from a South African university ‘.  This second presentation put forward preliminary findings from a SACQ questionnaire distributed to both South African and international students. Both presentations were well received and stimulated much conversation with the audience both during the question and answer session as well as after the formal presentation.

As is the case at many conferences some free time was had and was spent exploring the city of Kigali. The most memorable excursion was a trip to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The few hours spent at the memorial were truly unforgettable. The memorial is both informative and heart wrenching at the same time. It is well worth the visit for anyone venturing into Rwanda at any time. ANIE chose a wonderful host country in Rwanda, the people are incredible welcoming and most friendly. A truly wonderful experience was had all round.

Dianne Long

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